A REAL LIVE COWBOY
By Judy Duarte
Reviewed by Donna Maloy
Isabella Mendoza has a list. On it are all the requirements she has for a man she might consider marrying. William "J.R." Fortune doesn’t meet any of them. Isabella wants somebody down to earth, with a steady job. Someone who’s not afraid of commitment. At the age of forty, J.R. suddenly gave up a successful, lucrative city career in order to buy a ranch and become a "real" cowboy – not exactly evidence of sensible maturity. Or commitment. He does have a good sense of humor (on her list), he’s sensitive, caring (also on the list) and he’s handsome (not on the list, but she can’t help but notice).
The main problems Isabella sees are that 1) J.R. isn’t Latino so he can’t possibly understand how important her heritage is to her, and 2) J.R. is stubborn and manipulative. Isabella’s stepfather was that way, insisting she give up her Tejana culture and language. Now that she’s no longer under his control, she certainly doesn’t want to surrender to someone just like him.
But J.R. knows what he wants – and it’s the beautiful Latina he’s hired to decorate his historic ranchhouse. He’s persistent, especially when he senses that Isabella is attracted to him, too. Escalating danger for the Mendoza family, J.R.’s concern for her safety, Isabella’s racing heart whenever she’s near J.R., and a sweet little dog who loves them both – all conspire to make Isabella re-think her list. She was looking for a real, live cowboy. Could J.R. be the real thing?
We’ve all fallen, at one time or another, for the wrong man. Judy Duarte’s book reminds us of the turmoil and passion that go along with making hard choices. Isabella knows all the reasons she shouldn’t fall for J.R., but under Duarte’s expert crafting, she comes to know her heart a little better – and we all cheer her decision to embrace a happy ever after ending.